Daily Fantasy NASCAR Picks: Axalta Pocono 400
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Daily Fantasy NASCAR Picks: FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan
Jeff Gordon says winning practice is meaningless everywhere except Michigan. Normally, you want to have the best average speed on a five lap or a ten lap run. At Michigan, there isn’t fall off. A fast car is a fast car. Trust the fastest single lap run data.
I thought that was interesting, and I’ve got to start with something before I dive into picks.
Dig into the statistics and find the best plays for this weekend’s NASCAR event with the Daily Fantasy NASCAR Spreadsheet:
Top Tier Daily Fantasy NASCAR Picks (plus $9,000)
The Daily Fantasy NASCAR circuit heads north to an extreme intermediate track. There will be 200 laps on Sunday afternoon. That’s not a lot of hog points. Bump up place differential in your algorithm.
Kyle Larson is on the pole, he was fast in practice, and he’s the defending champion at Michigan. He’s always been good at Michigan, but last year he took it to the next level (finished 1st and 3rd). It’s nearly impossible to pass at Michigan. The drivers up front will lead all the laps and run most of the fast laps. No one is in a better position than Larson. Throw in his track history and current form, and you have as close as you can get to a lock in fantasy NASCAR. One more thing, Larson started on the pole at Fontana (similar to Michigan), he won that race and scored the most fantasy points.
Martin Truex, Jr. has the fastest car this season, and Michigan is all about speed. No one has scored more points at intermediate tracks this year. Some people like to compare Michigan to Fontana based on design and length. At Fontana, Truex started 4th, he had top 5 practice speeds, and he finished second in fantasy points to the pole sitter, Kyle Larson. Aside from the Fontana deja vu, this week feels like Dover all over again. I can’t fault you for switching to Kyle Busch (horrible track history = lower ownership). Of course, you can try to roster all three.
Brad Keselowski won’t be the number one hog. He may not even lead laps, but he’ll grab a handful of fast lap points. Keselowski was the fastest on a single lap run in practice #3 (closest to race conditions). This is his home track and he always shows up here. Despite never winning at Michigan, BK has a top 10 DFS score in each of his last 3 races at Michigan. Based on previous Michigan races, if BK finshes 5th he should finish with the 4th to 5th best DFS score.
Middle Tier Daily Fantasy NASCAR Picks ($7,000-$9,000)
Erik Jones might seem too expensive for some. He might be starting to close to the front for others. Good. It’s likely that the top 10 is filled with 9k drivers. If you correctly nail the three highest scoring drivers (very likely they’re all around 10k), then you can’t afford the other 9k drivers with a top 10. Throw out the expensive drivers. Who’s left that you believe can finish inside the top 10 (likely a top 10 DFS score)? Erik Jones is that guy. He posted that magical top 5 practice speed that correlates with big DFS NASCAR scores.
Dale Earnhardt, Jr. blew up in my face last week, but it was a freak occurrence. He loved his car and was cruising through the field until a shifting error. Shifting is not a factor at Michigan, and his car is fast again. On Twitter after the final practice, he said his car was great. This year has been rough for Junior, but he was headed in the right direction before the shifting situation at Pocono. His Michigan track history should quell your current form fears. Earnhardt, Jr. has finished with a top 10 in 4 of the last 5 races at Michigan.
Value Tier Daily Fantasy NASCAR Picks ($6,000-$7,000)
We’re looking for place differential and finishing position. If we can get them both, then awesome. Sometimes it’s foolish to chase both.
Ty Dillon will be the most popular play this week. His qualifying time was disallowed, so he starts last. Dillon has 9 top 20s this season, but that might be asking too much. Starting in the back, a top 25 is acceptable (31 fantasy points and a 5x return). Based on practice speeds, he’s around a 25th place car. The #13 Germain Racing car has finished with a top 25 in 7 of the last 10 Michigan races.
Paul Menard has a top 10 DFS score in 5 of the last 6 at Michigan (he scored 29 points in his one non-top 10). Menard loves Michigan. He runs the Xfinity Michigan race every year (9 top 10s in 11 races). Menard will start 30th, but he didn’t show anything in practice. Let’s take it easy with that. He was two tenths of a second from being the 20th fastest on a single lap run. In the Spring 2016 Michigan race, Menard started 32nd and his best single lap run in practice ranked 27th. Sound familiar? Menard’s 18th place finish may not have caught the attention of traditional fans, but that was a homerun at Draftkings. Menard’s 40 fantasy points ranked 9th and he was in the optimal lineup.
Punt Tier Daily Fantasy NASCAR Picks (sub $6,000)
Landon Cassill wrecked at the very end of practice #1. His backup car was not ready in time for a qualifying run. In practice #2, Cassill was the slowest, but he only made 9 laps. The practice #3 speeds were bad, too, but this is a punt. Cassill routinely runs around 30th in intermediate track practices, so he’s not that far off, and he’s in a backup car. If he can finish 28th, that will be a top 20 DFS score.
Track Cheat Sheet: Michigan
- This is a two mile long intermediate track. It’s a very fast race track, but that’s it. Once the cars spread out after a restart, the lap turning begins. There is just one groove at Michigan, so passing only occurs on restarts.
- Michigan is similar to Fontana in dimension and length, but they are light years apart when it comes to track surface. Goodyear brought the tire from the Las Vegas race to Michigan because the surface have a similar coefficient of friction. I wouldn’t rule of analyzing the Las Vegas DFS results (top 3: Treux, Keselowski, and Johnson).
I am a promoter at FanVice and am also a user (my username is greenflagradio2) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of FanVice and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.